The ministers of defense of Ukraine and Moldova, Stepan Poltorak and Anatol Şalaru, have agreed at a meeting in Odessa that Ukraine will provide a corridor for the withdrawal of Russian troops and equipment deployed in Cobasna village in the unrecognized Republic of Transnistria, Deschide reported.
Şalaru stated that the weapons that are located in military ammunition depots in Cobasna village pose a significant threat to both Moldovan and Ukrainian citizens, not to mention the population of the left bank of the Dniester River. In this context, a detailed plan on the withdrawal of weapons and Russian troops from the Operational Group of Russian Forces (OGRF) from the territory of Moldova will be developed by the end of 2016.
“We have discussed the issue of creating a special corridor for Russian servicemen who are in the Transnistrian region and also munitions that are stored in the Cobasna village,” the minister of defense of Moldova said. According to Şalaru, the Moldovan Defense Ministry was officially informed that Ukraine is ready to prepare a special corridor for the withdrawal of Russian troops and weapons.
“We have agreed on a meeting of military experts from both countries in the territory of Ukraine in order to discuss a number of issues of a technical nature: the withdrawal of corresponding convoys from Moldova, the way that they will enter Ukraine and also their further route through the territory of Ukraine,” Anatol Şalaru noted.
The minister also added that the parties intend to inform the OSCE office on this issue after the completion of all examinations and clarifications of questions because the above-mentioned mission should take place under the auspices of OSCE and the United Nations.
In addition, the parties plan to hold another official meeting in order to conclude the discussion and decide on stages, according to which the operation on the withdrawal of weapons and evacuation of Russian troops from the Transnistrian territory of Moldova will be held.
“Next, we intend to request that international organizations influence Russian leadership and contribute to the beginning of the above-mentioned process of evacuation. For our part, we will provide all kinds of assistance and ways of transportation – by land (through the territory of Ukraine) by air (the airport Marculesti) and by sea (via Giurgiulești) for this purpose,” the Moldovan minister assured.
Anatol Şalaru also reported that, currently, the Operational Group of Russian Forces in the territory of Moldova consists of 1,200 servicemen.